Top Democratic donor, Reid Hoffman, gives $250,000 to Nikki Haley’s Super PAC

When Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, called on Democratic donors to rally behind Nikki Haley last week to give Republican voters an alternative to former President Donald J. Trump, it seemed like a far-fetched plea.

But at least one of the Democratic Party’s biggest funders has already done just that.

Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn and a major Democratic donor, recently gave $250,000 to a super PAC supporting Ms. Haley, the former South Carolina governor who has gained momentum in recent weeks in the 2024 Republican primary race. The donation, which was not previously reported, was confirmed by Dmitri Mehlhorn, a political adviser to Mr. Hoffman.

The pro-Haley super PAC, SFA Fund Inc., was specifically asked by Mr. Hoffman’s political team whether it would take money from Mr. Hoffman, given that he is a Democrat who actively supports President Biden, Mr. Mehlhorn said. The super PAC, he added, said yes.

The pro-Haley super PAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SFA Fund Inc. was one of the biggest players in the 2024 Republican primary race, spending more than $33 million on advertising and other expenses. Its biggest contributors in the first half of the year were WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, who gave $5 million, and venture capitalist Tim Draper, who gave $1.25 million. Mr. Koum has since given an additional $5 million, which Puck News first time reported.

Mr. Hoffman has financially supported a number of anti-Trump candidates and causes. He helped fund a lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a writer who sued Mr. Trump for rape and defamation. In May, a Manhattan jury found Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation.

The extra money will help Ms. Haley’s super PAC buy more television ads as she battles to pull away from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and close the gap in the polls with Mr. Trump. But such giving between parties is rare and could also risk a negative reaction. Even before Mr. Hoffman’s donation was made public, Mr. Trump seized on coverage of Mr. Dimon’s comments urging Democrats to support Ms. Haley and used it in fundraising messages.

“As special interest globalist donors from both parties form an unholy alliance to defeat us, I call on our local donors like YOU to fight back,” Trump wrote in a fundraising email Monday.

Ms. Haley herself has explicitly called for Democratic support.

“Anyone who wants to come and support the cause, whether they’re Republican, independent or Democrat, we’ll accept them,” she told Fox News last week. “And that’s the way the Republican Party should look at it, this is a story about adding, not about getting people in and pushing people away.”

After the New York Times reported on the donation, the DeSantis campaign criticized Ms. Haley for her unlikely supporter. “It makes perfect sense that billionaire liberal Democrats would support Nikki Haley’s bid for the White House,” said Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for DeSantis, “because she’s a liberal.”

A former Trump adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, also attacked Ms. Haley after the donation was reported, calling her a “liar” on his streaming program and Mr. Hoffman “a Trump hater of nothing but epic proportions.”

Mr. Hoffman was involved in the Republican primary in other ways as well. Mr. Mehlhorn has held talks on Mr. Hoffman’s behalf this year with a super PAC supporting former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, although Mr. Hoffman has not given directly to the group.

But a nonprofit group with close financial ties to Mr. Hoffman, Defending Democracy Together, publicly reported donating $500,000 in June to a pro-Christie super PAC, Tell Him Like It’s a PAC. Mr. Mehlhorn said Mr. Hoffman has since done even more to defend democracy together.

Colin Reed, a spokesman for the Christie super PAC, said the group would be happy to take Mr. Hoffman’s money directly. “We are grateful for the support of anyone who wants to support the governor’s campaign,” Reed said.

Mr. Hoffman, who co-hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Biden in California this year, was uniquely motivated as a donor to oppose Mr. Trump. He donated in 2022 to Liz Cheney, who has emerged as one of the most vocal anti-Trump leaders in the Republican Party.

In the 2022 election cycle, Mr. Hoffman also gave $3.35 million to the Republican Accountability Project, which opposes Trump’s takeover of the party.

In a LinkedIn post eight months ago, Mr. Hoffman said he helped pay for Ms. Carroll’s case as a counterbalance to “Donald Trump’s scorched-earth legal methods.”

“Supporting women fighting for progress and justice in philanthropy, politics and business is a long-standing priority of mine, as well as supporting America against the threat of Trump,” he wrote.

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